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   RE: [xml-dev] RDF for unstructured databases, RDF for axiomatic

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Re-sent since the xml-dev mailing list filters out unsubscribed email

Shelley Powers wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > Jonathan Borden scripsit:
> > >
> > > > There isn;t much point in discussing either of these topics
> > > further, they
> > > > are included in RDF for legacy purposes but left
> *undefined*. This is
> a
> > > > polite way of saying that both of the above are *useless* --
> > > you can't even
> > > > argue the topic, because the WD gives no meaning over which to
> > > argue -- the
> > > > ultimate in damned by faint praise.
> > >
> > > Umm, I think you are severely over-interpreting.  It's quite
> common for
> > > a formal semantics to be incomplete, either because the omitted items
> > > are intractable, or because they're just too annoying to specify.
> > > That doesn't mean they aren't part of the deal.
> >
> > I agree with John -- Jonathan, I'm fairly sure you're reading more into
> this
> > then what the original authors intended.
> I have heard this directly, in public, from the (original)
> author. Prior to
> that I used to think that reification was just ugly. I am cc'ing him so he
> can correct me if I am saying this too strongly.

Then the specification should say "This is crap -- don't use it."

> >...Personally, I believe that neither
> > construct is discussed further in the semantics document
> because each is,
> in
> > a way, a re-interpretation of already defined aspects of the RDF model.
> ??? Huh ??? The RDF Semantics document *is* the definition of the RDF
> "model". It was written specifically to fix ambiguities which
> have resulted
> from interpretations such as yours of the RDF M&S (i.e. old version).

Excuse me? In what way Godlike person with all the answers? Since you
decided to get personal because people have pushed at your rather uncalled
for dismissal of containers and reification based on your viewpoint.

> > Containers are a typed node that has additional processing semantics
> > attached.
> No. Absolutely not. What "processing semantics" do you think
> apply? The only
> special significance of RDF containers is that they have a terribly broken
> syntactic transformation that occurs during the parse phase <rdf:li> ->
> <rdf:_3>

Processing -- each item in a sequence is related to every other item in this
way -- that is what is known in the computer world as 'processing'
information. As in, when you see this tool makers, this is how you process

> However, these semantics have to do with implementation, not data,
> > and as such really don't have a place within the RDF semantics
> document. A
> > container can be replaced with a typed node and get the same RDF graph,
> but
> > without the processing baggage (or benefit) attached. There is no 'new'
> > semantics -- the notation is more a convenience then new
> conceptualization.
> > Same with reification if you look at the RDF graph of a reified
> statement
> > and break it down into its parts.
> >
> Please, if you are writing a book about RDF, don't say these
> things because
> you are just going to confuse anyone and everyone who believes
> what you say.
> You have a particular obligation to thouroughly read
> http://www.w3.org/rdf-mt/ . It is a very well written document.

Actually, it has a lot of problems. It was created by a group of smart,
wonderful people who really care about making RDF work BUT who have a
difficult time understanding that not all of us have PhDs in linguistics and
mathematics. Or Philosophy.

They add references to containers in the primer and the syntax, but in the
semantics document, add this statement basically forcing interpretation
about 'containers' back on the user. In this case, they definitely
re-introduced ambiguity. Why? Because a lot of them don't like containers,
they wanted to get rid of containers, they think containers are redundant.
Worse, containers add processing semantics to what is a data model. I happen
to agree with them -- containers are redundant. They were, at one point,
actually pulled from RDF. Or at least there was a WG note for this at one

However, there are a lot of tools and uses of containers in the world (ie
RSS 1.0).  Too many people like and use containers, so they didn't pull
them -- they just tried to sweep them under the rug. They pulled them from
the abstract model (where they really don't belong) but left them in the
implementation model, within the RDF/XML zyntax.

Of course, this is my interpretation after having followed this discussion
for a couple of years now, and I am putting assumptions into the minds of
the editors. They are, of course, more than welcome to enter these lists and
correct me if they choose. I would welcome them and it.

As an FYI, in the W3C specs if something is deprecated, it is marked as
"deprecated". It is not given a section in the primer all of its own. Nor is
it given test cases. Nor is it covered extensively in the syntax document.

As an additional, FYI, the next time someone disagrees with you,
technically, I would suggest you be aware of what you are talking about, who
you are talking to, and consider that your reducing this discussion (it is
no longer a debate in any form) to personal terms only reflects negatively
on you.



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